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Compare Space Heating Systems

space heating systems

Comparing propane heating with electric or heating oil systems? Get the facts with our research on efficiency, cost, energy use, and carbon emissions.

Space heating represents the largest overall energy use in homes, so selecting the right heating system for new construction or retrofits is an important decision. A 2018 research study finds that systems incorporating high-efficiency propane furnaces have competitive upfront costs and lower energy costs in many scenarios. To learn more, check out the research findings below, or take the Propane Training Academy course, A Comparative Analysis of Residential Heating Systems.

Download the Research Findings


The Study

Energy costs associated with heating and cooling systems can vary widely, as can equipment efficiency and installation costs. But choosing the right system requires consideration of many complex factors, including the cost of equipment, system performance, comfort, and impact on the environment.


Independent research firm Newport Partners used building energy modeling to compare seven heating systems using propane, electricity, or heating oil in new and existing homes in 16 locations across the United States.

The Results

The study established that in most cases, systems incorporating high-efficiency propane furnaces cost about the same or less to purchase and install than comparable heating systems running on heating oil or electricity. Further, the propane furnaces have lower annual energy costs than standard air source heat pumps and heating oil furnaces in cold climates, making them an excellent overall value in many cases. Propane furnaces also have the measurable environmental benefit of lower carbon emissions from system operation than many other alternatives.

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